My List of Travels Pre-Motherhood

IMG_1688Before I gave birth to my son in 2013, I traveled quite a bit, both domestically and abroad, and acquired plenty of fond memories along the way, many of which came from my solo ventures. I’ve gone camping in the deserts of Egypt, rocked out at a music festival in Madrid, Spain, attended a dear friend’s wedding in the south of France, and the list of memorable experiences and fun adventures is appreciatively endless.

While my list of travels may not be as extensive as others (I don’t travel for a living nor am I an ex-pat, and I’m certainly not rich), I’ve done pretty well for myself. I’m especially proud of the fact that I’ve been able to do it all on my own. Of course it wasn’t easy. I’ve never had anything handed to me; definitely no silver spoon here. In fact, I also grew up in a single-parent household where the emphasis was always on education, hard work, and perseverance.

After graduating from high school I went on to independently support myself through college (Go Bruins!). Thereafter, I worked in marketing and event planning for a few years until I decided to go back to school to get a Master’s degree in a field more fulfilling – social work.

Since finishing graduate school I’ve constantly maintained a 9-5 job. The major difference today is that I’m also a full-time mom. More specifically, I’m a full-time, single parent, one-income, woman of color juggling life’s demands while simultaneously trying to provide a fun and happy childhood for my kiddo and also satiate my wanderlust. The cool thing is, now I have a little travel buddy to accompany me on life’s exciting journey.

So below I’d like to share with you my list of travels taken pre-motherhood (prior to 2013) listed in alphabetical order by country. I decided to post this because it’s highly unlikely I’ll be writing much about my own solo travels since this site focuses on my family adventures with Ry. However, if you have any questions about any of my past trips or photos on this page, please feel free to ask or comment at the bottom.

Countries Visited
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BELGIUM
Solo trips with meet-ups with my lovely Belgian friend and artist, Ian Grace and her family.
Brussels (July 2012 and Nov. 2012)
Ghent (July 2012)
Antwerp (Nov. 2012)

Grand Place, Prague P1040358 Belgian frites Belgian waffle P1040425 P1040399 P1040459 Belgian Comic Strip Center Ghent Ghent Belgian moules and frites P1040560 P1040552 Atomium Antwerp Pied Piper of Antwerp

CANADA
Montreal (May 2003)
Niagara Falls (Feb. 2003)
Toronto (Feb. 2003)
Quebec (May 2003) – A little charming piece of France tucked away in a corner of Canada.
Victoria, BC (Sept. 2006)

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COSTA RICA (Dec. 2008)
Solo backpacking trip.
San Jose
Alajuela
La Fortuna
Manuel Antonio

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CZECH REPUBLIC (Nov. 2012)
Prague – A beautiful city to explore, but didn’t feel that welcomed by the locals during my solo trip. Was later told by a Polish friend that I was probably perceived as a “troublesome” gypsy due to my brown skin tone. Disappointing, but I still managed to have some fun.

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EGYPT (Nov. – Dec. 2010)
For my 30 something birthday, gifted myself with a visit to my birth-country of Egypt. Hadn’t been back in more than two decades. This was probably my most challenging trip to date. I was a foreign female backpacking a Middle Eastern country by myself. What could possibly go wrong? To be continued…
Cairo
Alexandria
Siwa Oasis – What a magical and mysterious place.
Bahariya Oasis – Got caught in a desert sandstorm and stranded in a mud-brick hut.
Farafra Oasis (White Desert) – Amazing landscapes!
Dakhla Oasis (Mut, Al Qasr, and Balat)
Luxor

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FRANCE
Salies-de-Bearn (July 2012) – Attended my dear friend, Liz’s Mexican/French-themed wedding.
Lourdes (July 2012) – A special Catholic pilgrimage site.
Paris (Oct. 2002, May 2008)
Versailles (Oct. 2002)

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ITALY
Assisi (1999)
Cinque Terre (1999)
Florence (1999 and 2008)
Milan (1999)
Naples (1999)
Pisa (1999 and 2008)
Portofino (1999)
Positano (1999)
Rome (1999 and 2008)
Venice (1999, 2003, and 2008)

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JAPAN (June 2009)
Solo backpacking trip to one of my bucket list destinations. Also got to hang out with my aunt and cousins.
Tokyo
Kyoto
Misawa
Himeji
Hiroshima
Miyajima

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THE MEDITERRANEAN (June 2003)
Cruise taken with the then bf and one of my most favorite holidays.
Athens, Corinth, Delphi, Epidaurus, Katakolon, Mycenae, Nafplio, Olympia, Piraeus, Corfu, Mykonos, and Santorini, GREECE
Dubrovnik, CROATIA
Istanbul, TURKEY
Venice, ITALY

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MEXICO
Cancun (2001) – A post college trip with several other girls.
Ensenada (circa 1997)
Rosarito (2004 and 2005)
Puerto Nuevo (2005)
Tijuana (multiple times) – Party central back in college.

THE NETHERLANDS
Visits to Holland were primarily to see my beloved aunt.
Amsterdam (July 2012 and Nov. 2012)
Hoorn (July 2012 and Nov. 2012)
The Hague (Nov. 2012)

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PHILIPPINES (1999)
Manila – Visited my grandma before she passed away. Must return to see the rest of the country.

 Copy (3) of scan0018-001 Copy of scan0015-001 Copy of scan0006 Copy of scan0016

SPAIN (July 2012)
Solo trip and loved the country, especially the food.
Barcelona
Madrid

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THAILAND (Dec. 2004 to Jan. 2005)
A birthday gift to myself and the first international trip I took without a partner.
Ayutthaya
Bangkok
Chiang Mai
Chiang Rai
Lampang
Lopburi
Sukhothai
Golden Triangle (Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos)

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EURO GROUP TOUR (May 2008)
Did a group tour as a favor to my then bf since he wasn’t much of a world traveler. Would’ve much preferred a DIY holiday, but c’est la vie. We still had fun.
London, ENGLAND
Paris, FRANCE
Rome, Florence, Venice, and Pisa, ITALY
Lucern and Lugano, SWITZERLAND

OTHER COUNTRIES
Frankfurt, GERMANY (1999)
Geneva, SWITZERLAND (July 2012)

U.S. States Visited
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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
American Southwest (Sept. 2010)
Road-trip with the then bf. Parks and sites listed in order of route taken.
Zion National Park, Utah
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
Goblin Valley State Park, Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah
Arches National Park, Utah
Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Four Corners Monument (i.e., Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico)
Dinosaur Tracks, Tuba City, Arizona
Williams, Arizona

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Arizona
Grand Canyon (multiple times)
Montezuma Castle National Monument (Aug. 2004)
Oatman

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California
Berkeley (multiple times)
Borrego Springs / Anza Borrego Desert State Park (multiple times)
Big Bear (multiple times)
Camarillo (my second home for several years)
Cambria / Hearst Castle
Carlsbad (multiple times)
Carmel-by-the-Sea & Monterey (multiple times)
Carpinteria (a few times)
Catalina Island (multiple times)
Daly City (a few times)
Joshua Tree National Park (multiple times)
Julian (multiple times)
Lake Perris (Aug. 2007)
Lake Tahoe (multiple times)
Los Padres National Forest
Morro Bay (multiple times)
Napa (multiple times)
Novato (many times)
Pala (twice) – gem mining
Palm Springs (numerous times)
Pismo Beach (a few times)
Riverside (numerous times)
Sacramento (multiple times)
Salton Sea (multiple times)
San Diego (numerous times)
San Francisco (numerous times)
San Jose (a few times)
San Luis Obispo (multiple times)
Santa Barbara (several times)
Santa Cruz (once or twice)
Santa Maria (multiple times)
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park (March 2004)
Solvang (several times)
Yosemite National Park (Sept. 2011)

Florida
Key West (1999)
Miami (1999 and March 2003)
Orlando (1999)

Hawaii
Big Island (Oct. 2009)
Kauai (Oct. 2009)
Maui (Jan. 2003)
Oahu (Jan. 2003, Oct. 2009, and Oct. 2011) – In 2011, promised mom a trip to someplace nice and relaxing after she had overcome some medical hurdles.

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Louisiana
New Orleans (May 2011)

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Massachusetts
Boston (Feb. 2003, May 2003, and Nov. 2010)
Cape Cod (Oct. 2002)
Salem (May 2003)
Springfield (May 2003)
Plymouth (Oct. 2002)

Boston, MA Salem, MA Basketball Hall of Fame, MA Plymouth

Nevada
Las Vegas (visited too many times to count)
Oatman (1997)
Reno

New York
Buffalo (Feb. 2003)
Brooklyn (1999, 2003)
The Hamptons (Oct. 2008)
Long Island (Oct. 2008)
Manhattan – Have been here multiple times and also lived here from 2002 to 2003.
Niagara Falls (Feb. 2003)
Old Westbury (Oct. 2008)
Queens – Lived here with the family in the 80’s.
Sag Harbor (Oct. 2008)

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Pennsylvania
Hershey (May 2003)
Philadelphia (circa 1999 and May 2003)
Strasburg (May 2003) – Amish country.

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Texas
Dallas (circa 2001)
Houston (circa 2001)
San Antonio (1999)

Washington D.C.
Feb. 2003 and then Jan. 2009 for the Presidential Inauguration

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OTHER CITIES & STATES
Stafford Springs, Connecticut (Nov. 2010)
Atlanta, Georgia (Dec. 2008)
Chicago, Illinois (circa 2000)
Detroit, Michigan (circa 2000)
Minneapolis, Minnesota (circa 2000)
Seattle, Washington (Sept. 2006)

 

 

 

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